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Brown University and New York University are pleased to announce an agreement to move two programs ­– research and policy and New York-based community organizing and engagement – from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown to the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, effective September 1, 2017.

AISR’s research and policy team conducts research to inform and empower students, families, and communities historically marginalized by systemic inequalities, using rigorous qualitative and quantitative methods.  AISR’s New York-based community organizing team has a long history of successfully supporting urban communities to improve education in low-performing school districts, through policy research, data analysis, training, facilitation, coordination, support for strategy development, and logistical support. These two teams have closely collaborated to help youth, families, and community organizations become valued partners in education reform.

The transition of these programs results from a refocusing of AISR’s mission, which reflects Brown’s strategic plan, Building on Distinction. Moving forward, AISR’s programs and structure will emphasize closer integration with the University’s research and teaching mission and create a hub of scholarship and policy work that engages faculty, students, and practitioner experts addressing the causes, consequences, and mitigation of educational inequality.

The aims and approaches of NYU Metro Center and the transitioning programs are strongly aligned. The Center is nationally and internationally renowned for its work on educational equity and school improvement that brings together scholars, educators, and innovators from diverse backgrounds to collaborate on applied research, program evaluation, policy analysis, community engagement, and professional assistance to educational, governmental, and community agencies serving vulnerable populations. The Center seeks to expand its footprint nationally and welcomes the expertise and networks that the Annenberg team brings. 

“For close to 40 years, NYU Metro Center has played a leading and pivotal role in advancing equity and social justice in education,” said NYU Metro Center Executive Director David E. Kirkland. “Our Center has consistently served the most vulnerable populations working in and attending U.S. schools. Thus, we have been committed to supporting schools and communities across the U.S. through expansive partnerships that leverage school change and foster equity in student learning. The acquisition of the AISR’s community-engaged policy, research, and advocacy work adds another important layer to our mission of advancing the promises of education for all youth, particularly the nation’s most vulnerable youth.”

This transition is the result of extensive collaboration between Brown University, AISR, and the Metro Center. All parties are enthusiastic about the synergies and new opportunities that the transition provides. We look forward to the contributions to the mission of educational equity that will emerge, both from the new phase of work at AISR and from the new work to be undertaken at NYU Metro Center.

“The work that Annenberg has conducted has important and enduring value to strengthening public education in our country, and it is gratifying that it will continue under the capable stewardship of NYU Metro Center,” said Brown University Provost Richard M. Locke. “I appreciate our highly productive collaboration, and am confident that the work going forward, aligned so well with Metro Center’s mission and practice, will have ongoing consequence and impact.”

“This is a fantastic addition to Metro Center, and brings new resources to their important mission,” said Dominic Brewer, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of NYU Steinhardt. “Metro Center, which has flourished under the leadership of David Kirkland, plays a critical role in the School’s commitment to working with diverse populations and striving for equity in education. I welcome the AISR team to NYU Steinhardt.”